Over the years, I’ve tried to teach lots of folks to write sales copy. Not all of them have gone on to be stellar successes.
One of my most spectacular failures had a PhD in English Lit. Another was a crackerjack newspaper reporter. Still another had penned a best-seller and now wanted to try her hand at copywriting.
All three of these people were great word-jugglers. But as direct-response copywriters, they were hopeless. Not one of them could have written a winning sales letter if you’d held a .44 magnum to his or her highly educated head.
The problem? Though they came to me already armed with impressive writing skills, they had no selling skills. And they just couldn’t seem to acquire the knack of using words to persuade others to take a particular action – to look at their headlines, read their sales messages, and, for god’s sake, to order the doggoned product!
Too little, in my opinion, is written about how to be persuasive. And I mean to remedy that. There are lots of ways to be persuasive – I call them “Suasion Strategies” – and today I’d like to introduce you to one of the most powerful: the Scientific Demonstration.
When your prospects are unfamiliar with the mechanics of how or why your thing works, or why your thing works better than your competition’s thing – and the explanation would be long, technical, and boring – logic alone won’t cut it.
Take the alternative health market, for example…
Consumers of nutritional supplements are savvy about a lot of things. Many can rattle off all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs that help lower blood pressure, shrink prostates, ease joint pain, even free you from halitosis, B.O., and the heartbreak of psoriasis. But almost none of your prospects really understand HOW these natural medicines work their magic.
Lots of times, it doesn’t really matter. If you can cite a study in which a Harvard scientist or a Nobel Prize winner says a nutrient does its thing, you’ll probably be okay. But a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. And if you can figure out a way to quickly and easily demonstrate how your product does its thing – or, better yet, how it does its thing better than the competition’s product does its thing – the impact can be palpable and the urge to try it irresistible.
Say a certain nutrient is normally water soluble – it needs water to dissolve and to be absorbed in the body. But the cheaper manufacturing process many of your competitors use makes that nutrient impervious to water and, therefore, undissolvable, unabsorbable, and unusable by the body.
Time to go up into the attic and drag out the old chemistry set you played with in fourth grade. Oh – and get the camera, too, so we can snap some pictures for a super-persuasive sidebar.
Yep, it’s time for a scientific experiment…
Take two laboratory flasks (so much more “official looking” than ordinary water glasses). Add water. Open a capsule of your competitor’s product and pour it into the first flask. Pour your product into the second. [SNAP!]
Observe that your product dissolves instantly, making the water cloudy to the eye. [SNAP!]… But the competition’s product is just kind of floating aimlessly on top of the water, like so much flotsam and jetsam. [SNAP!]
Now, just to prove you’re more than fair, take a spoon and stir the heck out of the competitor’s product. Hell… put it in a blender.
Wow! That worthless crap your competitor sells is still floating at the top of the flask. [SNAP!]
Suddenly, your claim that your product is more absorbable and therefore more effective is persuasive beyond doubt. Seeing is believing. Your prospect has been fully convinced.
Can’t do an actual scientific demonstration for your sales letter? No problem. Conduct a theoretical one.
For example, when promoting EDTA to remove plaque from arteries, I had an illustrator prepare a series of “Gray’s Anatomy”-style drawings:
• a baby’s artery – squeaky clean and free of plaque
• a 20-year-old’s artery – already beginning to grow ugly yellow globs of plaque… already beginning to restrict blood flow…
• a 60-year-old’s artery – nearly closed by plaque… only a drip or two of blood getting through to the heart muscle…
• EDTA moving through the artery, dissolving the calcium that bonds plaque to the artery wall, flushing it away and increasing blood flow…
• the 60-year-old’s artery looking more like the 20-year-old’s… and abundant blood coursing through the newly cleared artery
Now Think: What kind of scientific demonstration – real or theoretical – would best persuade prospects that your product can, indeed, deliver its promised benefits and/or is far superior to the competition’s?
Put it in your next sales promotion and watch response soar![Ed. Note: Master copywriter Clayton Makepeace publishes the highly acclaimed e-zine The Total Package to help business owners and copywriters accelerate their sales and profits. Claim your 4 free money-making e-books – bursting with tips, tricks, and tactics that’ll skyrocket your response – at MakepeaceTotalPackage.com. ]